According to Michael Mahoney, GOP establishment darling Ann Wagner, accompanied by GOP legislative has-been, Jim Talent, will hold a news conference to kick-off the Wagner general election campaign for the newly configured 2nd House district. Mahoney’s preview speculates that they’ll give us a look at Wagner’s campaign strategy:
They’ll go after president Obama’s record on the economy. They’ll claim he “failed”, and cite the fact that the unemployment rate has been over 8% for 42 months. They’ll also promote the ‘America’s Comeback Team’. That’s the name the Romney campaign has rolled out after the weekend selection of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate.
In other words, they’ll not deviate from standard GOP slogans. It’s just so much easier to paint-by-numbers.
Touting the “come-back team” (because we would “come-back” to failed Bush administration policies?), while decrying the economy is, of course a predictable approach, but not without risk, given what we now know about Paul Ryan’s role in planning the the last three and a half years of GOP congressional obstructionism, a course of action meant to do nothing more than damage the President by stalling the economic recovery – regardless of how much harm such a strategy would do to regular Americans.
Robert Draper in his recently published book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives, writes that Ryan was one of the GOP congressional leaders who attended a dinner in Jaunary of 2009 in which just this policy of obstructionism was explicitly planned:
During a lengthy discussion, the senior GOP members worked out a plan to repeatedly block Obama over the coming four years to try to ensure he would not be re-elected.
Draper is not alone. Greg Sargent comments on what he calls “juicy nuggets” in Michael Grunwald’s new book, The New New Deal, that:
… shed new light on the degree to which Republicans may have decided to deny Obama all cooperation for the explicit purpose of rendering his presidency a failure – making it easier for them to mount a political comback after their disastrous 2008 losses.
Sadly, what’s also predictable is the probable willingness of the traditional press to report GOP slogans without comment in preference to ferreting out the more complex truth. Although I’d love to be wrong, it’s not likely that any intrepid Missouri newsman will challenge Wagner and Talent to respond to the now well-substantiated allegations of orchestrated, intentional obstructionism and so take ownership of the slow-as-syrup economic recovery their Grand Old Party has engineered.